“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once (s)he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso
She paints picture after picture. Some with stripes. Some with polka dots. Some with one color; some with two; some with more. Each one is unique. Exquisite. Undeniably beautiful.
And every one is designed with someone special in mind.
Her creativity astounds me. Her generosity moves me.
When I watch her, I pray silently that she will always feel this assured, that she will always dream the biggest of dreams. I pray that her imagination will always be this vivid and her life this full of colors.
When she describes her finished pieces with grand gestures and animated expressions, she thinks that I am amazed by her paintings (and I am), but what really impresses me is…her. SHE is the real masterpiece.
In these photos – products by Melissa & Doug
Tabletop Easel (~$39.99)
This brightly colored wooden easel features a chalkboard on one side and a dry erase board on the other. An ample storage tray is convenient for placing paintbrushes, erasers, chalk, and paint cups when not in use. We used a large binder clip to hold up a piece of paper for easy upright painting (the four accompanying magnets are pretty much worthless and do not effectively hold the paper up as they should). ALSO: The screws don’t fit just right and protrude awkwardly.
My overall synopsis of this product is that it is flawed in design, but it is a fantastic concept. With a few slight adjustments, this easel would be a top-rate addition to any child’s playroom or creating space. Even in its current state, we use it every single day and we think it’s fabulous (so much better than painting on a flat surface!).
NOTE: The Tabletop Easel is currently on backorder, but should be available on Melissa & Doug’s website shortly…
Easel Companion Set ($34.99)
The title of this set is a bit misleading because it implies that you must have the easel, but the truth is that it is also ideal as a “stand-alone” gift.
It comes with:
- Four 8-ounce bottles of poster paint (Great quality! I think I’d like to buy refills of this thick and vibrant paint that washes off skin with ease.)
- Four spill-proof paint cups (These are the BEST part of the set – hands-down. They’re brilliantly designed with colorful lids, brush holders, and snap-on lids to keep paint fresh.)
- Four medium-sized brushes (Easy-to-hold and nice to look at – these are *not* your cheap-o dollar store brushes.)
- A Roll of easel paper
- 10-pack of jumbo rainbow chalk
- An eraser
- A dry erase marker
This is an excellent gift choice for any little artist – with or without the easel.
Artist’s Smock ($9.99)
Worried about stains and smudges? Place this super fun, stripedy (yes, I’ve been reading too many books starring Tigger lately…) smock over your child’s clothes and you can rest easy. The smock is easy-to-clean and has a little square on the chest where you can add your child’s name. The adjustable straps make it a one-size-fits-all garment so that you can stretch your dollars and use the same apron from preschool through elementary.
WIN IT! One winner will receive a Tabletop Easel (~$39.99), an Easel Companion Set ($34.99), and an Artist’s Smock ($9.99) from Melissa & Doug. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Sunday, December 27th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about my Christmas Gift Guide (or about this giveaway)…and leave a second comment telling me that you did.
* I received product samples for review purposes.
*UPDATE* The winner is #27 Abbi. Congratulations!